Fathom Questionnaire

Meet the Editor: Julia Cosgrove

by Julia Cosgrove

Julia in Iceland.

Hometown: Raised in Berkeley, CA, and New York, NY. Live in Oakland, CA.

Occupation: Editor-in-chief, AFAR.

Favorite destinations: Tulum, Mexico; Sea Ranch, California; Paris; Barcelona.

Dying to visit: Buenos Aires, Argentina; everywhere in India.

Bizarre travel rituals: I have this weird tapping ritual I do every time an airplane takes off and lands. It's my version of clutching rosary beads.

In-flight relaxation regime: Pilates breathing combined with old Modest Mouse and Pavement songs on my BOSE headphones.

Always in carry-on: Magazines! And lots of them.

Concierge or DIY? DIY, with recommendations from other experiential travelers on AFAR.com.

See it all or take it easy? Do what I can to get a true sense of a place, without overwhelming myself ticking things off a list.

Drive or be driven? Drive. I guess I'm a bit of a control freak.

Travel hero: My mom. When she was in her early twenties, she was a folk singer who traveled all over North Africa and Europe. Her stories are amazing. She is outgoing and relatively fearless, and I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me about experiencing the world.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: A car wash by day, strip club by night in Negril, Jamaica.

Best hotel amenity: When I was in Vancouver to give the keynote at the Travel Classics Conference, the pastry chef at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver prepared a dessert plate that came with an edible, picture-perfect mini version of AFAR magazine.

I dream about my meal at La Rotisserie d'en Face on rue Christine in Paris. I was probably about 12, and my mom and I had roast chicken with the most perfectly cut — and stacked — French fries. It has stuck with me ever since. Also, the molten chocolate cake at Jojo in New York in the late '90s is another really vivid memory.

Everywhere I go, I check out the street art.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by studying the hotel map.

I always bring home textiles and ceramics.

If I never return to Mazatlan, it'll be too soon because just because.

I travel for the for the feeling that comes from challenging myself. And for the sheer fun.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.